Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Anambra State youths on Friday took to the streets and roads of Awka to protest the Senate probe and vote of no confidence passed on Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris over his failure to appear before the the body.
The youths, who numbered about 2,000, came from different parts of the state carrying various banners and placards with such inscriptions as: ‘Senate should leave IGP alone’, IGP should continue with his good job’, ‘Senate should concentrate on its legislative matters’, ‘We are safer under IGP Idris’, ‘We are solidly behind the IGP’, ‘Anambra youths says no to Senate intimidation’, ‘IGP is not an enemy of democracy’, among other signs.
The youths who sang and chanted in support of the embattled Inspector General, said that the Senate should face their legislative matters and make laws that would affect the lives of Nigerians, stating that the probe of IG Idris was witch hunt because of the Dino Melaye case.
The leader of the youths and Vice President, Anambra State Youths Forum, Mr Anthony Ogbugo, said that the protest was in solidarity with IGP Idris because of what they described as an orchestrated persecution from the Senate.
“The IGP has done more than enough in the past few days. We are all aware that the notorious armed robber and kidnapper disturbing the road users traveling from Abuja to Kano State was arrested by the police and over 30 AK-47s recovered. He has arrested over 50 armed Fulani herdsmen. I don’t know why the Nigerian Senate is taking this matter personal, nobody should be above the law,” said Ogbugo, expressing support for Idris.
He went on to explain the background that inspired their demonstration:
“Last month a senator by name Omo-Agege was accused of being part of the crisis in the Senate; the police arrested him, he did not resist arrest, he was duly released and charged to court and the court has acquitted him. So, the IGP is the Chief Security Officer of the country after the President. They should allow him to discharge his duties and the Senate should be more concerned with propagating laws for Nigeria,”
“There’s criminalities everywhere, like Fulani herdsmen, Boko haram, armed robbery and kidnapping, and the IGP has been tackling them. We have a body that should discipline the IGP if he commits any offense, which is the Police Service Commission. The Senate is taking it personal by protecting Senator Dino Melaye; he is not the owner of Nigeria. The senators who we voted to go and represent us did not consult us before they said that they are giving vote of no confidence on the IGP. We, the citizens of Nigeria, we say no to it.”
“The IGP must continue his work. We want the Senate to concentrate on its legislative matters and it should allow the IGP to do his job. We would have protested to Abuja, but we said that it is good to come to the [Anambra] Commissioner of Police’s office to show solidarity to the IGP, to tell him that we are in support of him in securing the lives and property in the country, and that anybody passing a vote of no confidence on the IGP is on his own. We, the Anambra youth, say that where the IGP stands is where we stand,” Ogbugo stated.
Responding to the demonstrators, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Chris Owolabi, representing the Commissioner of Police, commended the youths for their solidarity support and promised to pass their message across to the IGP, stressing that Anambra State the peace and order of the state should be sustained.
“We are commending you for your support and we shall take your message to the appropriate quarters. Anambra State is a peaceful state and we continue to work hard to sustain the security of the state. Don’t be discouraged, police is working hard to keep society safe. So, if you agree with me and you want the IGP to continue in office, I want to urge to you to disperse peacefully without causing any traffic jam in the city,” Owolabi said in support of the protest.